Interim chaplain popular with students

Interim chaplain popular with students

by Steve LovittStaff Writer

Fritz Wehrenberg is the new interim campus chaplain at Simpson College for the 2009-2010 school year.

He has a total of 34 years of experience working in his field. He graduated from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., and has a master’s degree in Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. For the past six years he has been working on a doctorate degree in ministry from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.

Coming to Simpson was a decision that he hasn’t regretted, and he has had a great time on campus so far.

“Jim Hayes called me and was searching for a new chaplain and with just four weeks away from students arriving, I had to make a decision fast,” Wehrenberg said. “I went to lunch with Jim and Dean Thorius, from there I met with a student panel, and now I’m here. My wife and I prayed a lot about whether this was the right move for us, and we have never regretted it.”

Already, RLC members are seeing the benefits of having Wehrenberg as the chaplain.

“Rev. Wehrenberg has brought a new perspective for the chapel and the RLC,” Senior RLC President Kasey Peters said. “With this he has brought a lot of energy and has encouraged the RLC leadership to critically look at the programs. He has been a great example for everyone he encounters about how to live out their faith.”

Wehrenberg is not your typical pastor, and that uniqueness has brought a lot of energy and creativity to RLC and its members.

“I believe everyone will be uplifted by Rev. Wehrenberg’s commitment to making Simpson a welcoming, supportive community,” Jeremy Poland, interim assistant campus chaplain and 2004 Simpson alumnus, said. “His desire for all people to know and experience God’s love will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable resource.”

Wehrenberg is very excited for this year and has several new changes in mind that he hopes will make RLC and campus better in general.

“I look forward to getting the chaplain out of the chapel,” Wehrenberg said. “I met with the Cross Country coach yesterday and some of the runners wanted to pray before their meets and now it’s going to be a regular thing of meeting with the team before they get on the bus to go to meets. I want the students and campus to experience our services throughout campus and not just in the chapel.”

Wehrenberg was particularly impressed with the campus, the students and the overall atmosphere as soon as he walked onto campus.

“I have really enjoyed the Simpson Experience so far,” Wehrenberg said. “Before I came to Simpson I had no idea what that meant, but I learned fast. The warmth and respect across the board with students and faculty has just been awesome and I am really glad I’m here.”

If you are ever in need of someone to talk to, laugh with or just have lunch with, Wehrenberg says he’s your guy.

“Fritz is a pony-tailed, Hawaiian t-shirt-sporting pastor with a lot to teach us,” Poland said. “You will be blessed if you take the time to meet him.”